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SWOT Analysis of Agora

SWOT analysis
SWOT Analysis is more then an exercise in making four lists. The really valuable part of SWOT analysis is determining
what story the four lists tell about the companys situation and thinking about what actions are needed. Understanding the
story involves evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and drawing conclusions about (1) how
the companys strategy can be matched to both its resource capabilities and its market opportunities, and (2) how urgent
it is for the company to correct which particular resource weaknesses and guard against which particular external threats
(Thompson et all, 2001, pi 27).
Identifying companys strength
Strength is something a company is good at doing or a characteristic that gives it enhanced competitiveness (Thompson
et all, 2001, p.l 17).
A powerful strategy supported by competitively valuable skills and expertise in key areas (Thompson et all, 2001, p.l21):
Agora arranges training system for its sales person to increase their skill. Agora has skilled and experienced human
resource to organize the company in its key areas.
Strong financial condition; ample financial resources to grow the business (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Agora has
strong financial condition and resource to grow the business, because within five-year agora open three braches in
Dhaka city.
Strong image and good reputation (Thompson et all 2001, p. 121): By providing good customer services and 20
thousand variety of quality product. Agora offer clean, healthy and a friendly environment to customers for shopping.
Better quality product relative to rivals (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Agora encourages producers to produce
standard and quality products. To provide quality product Agora check expire date every month.
Identifying Companys Weakness
A weakness is something a company lacks or does poorly (in comparison to others) or a condition that puts it at a
disadvantage (Thompson et all, 2001, p.l 19).
Financial statement: Agora has no any annual financial report.
Pricing strategy: Agoras pricing strategy is not good enough is more costly then their competitor.
Lack of advertising: Agora use only news media rather than electronic media, a Agora is not careful enough about their
Supply variety product: The quantity supply of products are short. It has no stationary, sports, electronics, and gift items.
Lack use of e-commerce technologies and processes (Thompson et all, 2001, p.121).
Identifying Companys Opportunity
Market opportunity is a big factor in shaping a companys strategy. Indeed, managers cant properly tailor strategy to the
companys situation without first identifying each company opportunity and appraising the growth and profit potential each
one holds (Thompson et all, 2001, p.125).
Saving additional customer or expanding into new geographic markets or product segments (Thompson et all,2001,
p.121): By opening new branch of Agora in different area of Dhaka Agora serve additional customer or expending into
new geographic markets or product segment.
Utilizing existing company skill or technological know how to enter new product lines or business (Thompson et all, 2001,
p.121): Agora try to find out customer need, demand of different product and increase product line according to customer
need and demand. Agora gives training to employee for increasing x their skill and use.
Growth sales volume: Agora increases their sales continuously. In 2001 Agora monthly sales volume Tk.5 to 6 cores.
Now their sales volume Tk.6 to 7 cores.
Identifying Companys Threats

Often, certain factors in a companys external environment pose threats to its profitability and competitive well-being.
Threats can stem from the emergence of cheaper or better technologies (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 127).
Likely entry of potent new competitors (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Agora has many competitors Nandan, Meana
Bazar, Shope to Save.
Loss of sales to substitute products (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Agora is not holding some brand of same quality
Costly new regulatory requirements (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Agora sells some foreign product at higher price for
few numbers of customers.
Growing bargaining power (Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Growing bargaining power of customer because there are
many competitors to Agora customers compare the product price of competitors products with Agora products price.
A shift in buyer needs and tastes away from the industrys product
(Thompson et all, 2001, p. 121): Suppose Agora is not hold Doble-Cola. Suddenly if Agora sells Duble-Cola instead of
Coca-Cola. If Agoras customer who like to buy Duble-Cola rather than Vergine but Agora dont hold Duble-Cola. It is also
a threat for the Agora.
Marketing of Agora
Marketing Strategy
The projects strategic aim to source in bulk quantities from the producers or manufacturers of products, thereby reducing
distribution layers. Traditionally, such practice brings about organization within the industry, and essential commodities,
edibles and groceries account for the significant portion of the food industry-which in turn is the largest contributor to the
broad retailing industry, (establishment of the chain of supermarket would have a significant impact on the entire retailing
industry in Bangladesh (Internet 6).
Agora, being a retail service store, does not sell its own products. So its marketing strategy relies very heavily upon the
products that the store keeps for the prospective customers, the price at which they provide those products and the
manner in which the products reach the customers at the store. Their aim is to offer an extensive selection of brands and
materials providing choice of different sizes at different prices. The marketing strategy employed by the stores is focused
on the following:


Product is anything an organization or individual offers or exchange that may satisfy customer or customers need or the
marketer own needs (Bennett et all, 1988, p. 286). According to the Marketing Manager Agora has about 20,000 different
items in each store providing both variety and quality. The store combines merchandise with a full range of grocery
The products at the store many be divided into the following categories:
Perishables (includes fresh fruits, vegetable, meat, fish etc.)
Non- perishable (includes canned- house- hold goods like personal care products and items).
Pharmaceutical products
The fresh fruits and vegetable are local products from local farms.
Frozen meat and dairy products are among the fast moving products. Flour, pulses and other staple foods are packed
graded and labeled by local suppliers, an idea given to them by Agora. The idea is to project the image of convenience to
the shoppers.

The international brand in the frozen meat and fish products, pizzas, cheese butter and other meat, fish or daily goods.
They are relatively fast- moving as they cater to the varied taste and are of relatively high standards. It has to be noted
that although some foreign consumers had suggested that pork and alcoholic drinks be made available in the store, the
suggestions were dropped to keep in line with the larger cultural concept.
Canned and bottled items like fruits and fruit juices are mostly imported from Australia. The general idea that these
products are good value for money accounts largely for the prominence of these brands. Brands are preferred owing to
image value.
Items such as soft drinks and snacks are available at different prices and varieties although it has to be noted that most
of them are common brands available almost everywhere except for a few especially imported by Agora.
Daily breakfast needs are among the fastest-moving items in the store, which include coffee, tea, milk, cereals, and
chocolate items. Except for milk and tea brands the rest is dominated by foreign brands. Chocolate brands are
comparatively diverse.
These items include personal hygiene products and household utensils. They take up only about 20% of all the goods
Household cleaners and insecticides comprise of both local and international brands.
Soaps, Shampoos, Dishwashing liquids and Detergents are available in the personal hygiene products section,
dominated by UNILEVER, an established brands, preferred as they have a general acceptability in the market and
usually have a high turnover. This helps Agora maintain a high sales volume.
Utilities such as disposable knives, forks, spoons, aluminum, foils and wrappers are available in small quantities
(understandably waiting for a demand to be created)
Cosmetics and deodorants are available providing a reasonable amount of variety.
New products and innovations by local farmers are encouraged by Agora. It itself takes the responsibility of marketing
these special products in their stores. The idea is to represent Agora, as the sponsor for local innovations and in turn
benefit from the profit made though such sales. It also gives them an edge over most competitors by being the first to
introduce them. By the by the marketing manager said that presently wide acceptance of TEE R EDIBLE OIL is result of
their vital contribution.
Pharmaceutical Products
The pharmaceutical section is similar to a small pharmacy. The medicines available are not special in that they are the
usual drugs available in other small pharmacies in the city. They sale pharmaceutical products as it same price as other
medicine shop.
Quality Control
Their quality control is very high. According to the manager the stringent quality ensures that the products are update on
a routine basis so that the expiry date is not exceeded. Products bought in and not sold are either returned to the
suppliers or discarded.
In setting prices they Agora follow a combination of cost based pricing, value based pricing & competitors based prices.
In case of most non-perishable product (such as soap, saving cream, powder, shampoo etc.) the follow competitors
based price. And in case of perishable good they follow value based pricing.
In the perishable items sector, the fresh fruits, vegetable, beef and fish are priced higher than elsewhere. The executive
explained this case by relating extra price to the solid weight that is provided by the store and the extra effort that goes
in to clean the vegetable and meat from the whole bunch.

Management needs to inform and persuade the market regarding a companys products (Stanton et all, 1991, p. 13). The
ideal in a retail store is to strike a balance between what kinds of products are fast selling and profitable. An important
first step in the business besides upgrading is its image. The challenge lies in convincing customers that prices are
affordable and that the quality is value of money.
The promotional mix employed by Agora primarily focuses on the following methods:
Advertisements and the media
Sales promotion
Cross promotion
Advertisements and the Media:
At first, a private advertising agency called ADCOM had been hired to design and produce ads that Agora requires. The
budget allotted for advertising, is roughly 2.5% of net sales. The message potential of Agoras first claim of A new way to
shop'-has been reduced largely due to the growth of similar stores that followed.
Overall Agoras advertising concentrates upon the news media rather than electronic media. The reason given is that at
the moment Agora has only two outlets so giving advertisements in the electronic media would be inappropriate. Nowagora expenses 0.91 % of net sales for advertising.
The News Media
A survey was conducted to find out first which newspapers were most circulated in the Dhanmondi and nearby areas.
The English language daily The Daily Star and the Bengali daily The Daily Jugantor & Pratham Alo came out the top of
the list Ads were given out in these papers which the manager expected would reach the target market more efficiently in
comparison with expensive and no specific electronic media.
Outdoor Displays
The billboards have a long life as well as a high readership. Most messages are in English including the logo, which
provides an-idea of the consumer group that Agora targets.
Sales Promotion
Sales Promotion is a short-term incentive to encourage the purchase of sale or a product or service (Ullha et all, 2001,
p.489). Without sales promotion company might never have made that purchase or might have bought another brand
(Bennett et all, 1988, p.524). Agora employs a wide range of sales-promotion methods. The main methods include:
Raffle Draws
Special shelves are placed at the forefront and are reserved for any company wanting to promote their products. In
exchanges Agora is paid a special rent by the prospective companies other trade promotions by suppliers include leaflets
and small posters.
Cross Promotion
As Agora is a relatively new venture, need was felt to associate established firms with it as a promotional strategy.
Uzbekistan Airways and Fantasy Kingdome were involved with Agora in promoting the brand through sales or
advertising. Besides these they make an agreement with standard chartered Bank for interchanging Pride customer
They provide special service for Pride customer.
Overall the most important and effective promotion of Agora has been through mouth-to-mouth communication of friends
and relatives. This has bought in a lot of customers for the firm.
The quality of products is not always enough as customers have to be convinced that they good value for money.
Managements responsibility is to select and manage the trade channels through which the products will reach the right

market at the right time and develop a distribution system for physically handling and transporting the products through
these channels (Stanton et all, 1991, pi 3). The following convenience Agora tries provide facilitate this process:
The location factor
The shop layout
Lighting and Ambience
Car-parking facilities.
The Location Factor
Each location chosen is characterized by an adequate and well off population base particular where there is a high level
of pedestrian traffic. Agora tries to provide enough space for movement to the customers so they are encouraged to
spend more time at the store. This is one of the most important distinguishing factors that the make the stores different
from the local markets.
The first branch of the super- market is at the Rifles Square at Dhanmondi. This area is unique, as it is on of the busiest
and well-connected areas region. The second branch of the super store has been opened at Gulshan. It is as well
connected as the Dhanmondi branch. The third branch of super store has been opened at Mohgbazar. It is a more
populated area Parking facility is roughly as good although a few aspects of the Dhanmondi branch had to be sacrificed
to accommodate the basic requirements.
A very unique feature of the Dhanmondi branch is that it also has a kids play area. tv is a small room enough to
accommodate a good number of small children. A female m caretaker is kept to take care of the children in the area. This
is another strategy to ensure that the working parents can spend as much time as possible to do their shopping. It was
not possible to do the same at Gulshan due to space constraints.
The shop Layout
All branches have similar window displays and shop layouts. The products are on open display so that the members can
select, examine, and compare the products. The products are kept according to daily necessities of the customers
chancing convenience.
Lighting and Ambience
As shoppers look for better values Agora has added several services to broaden the apple, including air-conditioning,
childs play area and background music.
Car-parking Facilities at the store
Adequate car-parking facility is a must in every outlet and all the outlets have considerable space to accommodate the
cars for the customers. The reason sited for this special emphasis on the car park is that, cars are becoming more of a
necessity than just a stats symbol and encouraging shoppers to buy in large quantities.
Findings & Recommendations
Agora at present relies more on its reputation and less on advertisement, mushroom growth of competitors with massive
investments threatens the meager 1% of total share market of Agora. Over 90% of the sample had known about Agora
through social connections. An increase in advertisement expenditure is essential lo sustain and increase sales a Agora
and break even. The fact that the general customers surveyed had only known about Agora after friends of relatives had
visited the store, indicates that the advertising strategic of Agora is comparatively weak.v It must introduce more efficient
techniques to avoid stock run outs that would negatively affect Agoras image of providing convenience. This would help
ensure perishables are always fresh a feature that highlighted by the store.
Agora is still not being able to accommodate enough customers. This is a general view of the customers surveyed, over
half suggesting an increase. Unless this problem is solved quickly, the competitors of the store may take away those
unsatisfied customers from Agora.

The costs of most perishables are very high compared to the general trend of the market. No matter how the marketing
manager tries to explain their reasons behind this high price the customers would invariably tend to shift lo the sources
that provide them at a lesser price if they do not feel that the price they are paying is worth the convenience.
The number of staff at the store should be increased because the customer feels that they spend more time to pay their
shopping. This may be a source of more convenient of the customer.
Customers Opinion
Tanjila Hossain is a housewife. She often comes to Agora. She is very much pleased on this super market she says that
the collection of product is very good. But sometimes the quality of goods is not fresh such as fish, meat loot, etc. She
says that we face some trouble sometimes.
Agoras main concept hinges on its ability to meet the needs of a more advanced society where the working wife prefers
to make at-a-time purchases of daily needs less than one roof. Form a careful analysis of the ideas and marketing
concepts at work in the operation of Agora, it has been possible to obtain an insight to the essential marketing practices
adopted by such retail stores. In a highly volatile business environment the quest for excellence does not end easily. By
adhering to proper marketing strategies and putting its target market in topmost priority, Agora has been able to edge
towards competitiveness with few formidable rivals to challenge its present position Evidently, by virtue of its high quality
assurance, provision of a wide assortment of local and foreign products, and a touch of luxury to appeal to the mind of
shoppers, Agora has been able to establish itself as a store that makes every effort to cater to customer satisfaction.